Trident Health’s South Carolina Institute for Robotic Surgery now offers single-incision gallbladder removal. Rather than making several incisions to remove the gallbladder, this new robotic process makes just one incision through the belly button. Dr. Jeffrey Lafond, a robotic surgeon with South Carolina Institute for Robotic Surgery, performs the procedure. He is one of the most experienced single-incision surgeons in the Unites States. Surgeons from around the country travel to Trident Medical Center to view his procedure. “The robot offers excellent 3-Dimensional vision, a great improvement over a conventional laparoscopy.  The single site technique allows for less trauma, decreased blood loss, and a quicker recovery time for the patient,” said Dr. Lafond.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Lafond, call Tri-County Surgical Associates at (843) 797-5151.

The South Carolina Institute for Robotic Surgery is the second facility in the state and the only in the Lowcountry to offer single site robotic surgery. The Institute is located at Trident Medical Center and consists of an advanced team of 21 robotic surgeons. The group performs twice as many robotic surgeries as any other hospital in the Charleston area. The single-incision gallbladder removal is one of several “firsts” the Institute has performed.

Each year, about one million people in the United States will undergo gallbladder removal surgery. Thanks to this latest breakthrough in robotic-assisted surgery, patients can now have their gallbladder removed through a small incision buried in their belly button, where no visible scar can be seen.

In the past, gallbladder removals have been performed either through open surgery, which requires a large opening in the abdomen, or laparoscopic surgery, which requires multiple incision sites. The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ that sits just below the liver on the upper right side of the abdomen. It collects and stores bile – a digestive fluid produced in the liver – and its removal can relieve the pain and discomfort of gallstones. The new surgical method with the da Vinci robotic surgery system is designed for safer outcomes and quicker recovery times.